Introducing My New Ikat and Batik Shop in the UK

24 Jul

Following my passion in batik and ikat, I’ve decided to venture in selling ikat and batik bags, shoes and accessories.  It’s very exciting and nerve wrecking.  It’s just been opened, so it’s very new.  Please visit my website:  www.ib-u.co.uk and my facebook page: www.facebook.com/ikat.batik.unique

Here are some of the bags:

3 Negeri Batik Bowler Bag

3 Negeri Batik Bowler Bag

3 Negeri Large Batik Handbag

3 Negeri Large Batik Handbag

Choosing the sex of my baby

16 Aug

I believe whatever sex of  a child is a blessing. However, after having a girl as our first child, I’d like to have a boy to complete our little family.  I wasn’t really desperate to have a boy, either way I’d be happy, but I thought it would be nice to have a boy.

By accident, I came across a book, called ‘Choose the sex of your baby – the natural way’ by Hazel Chesterman-Phillips.  I bought it, read it and applied some of the advice from the book.

According to the book, female sperm (x) behaves differently with male sperm (y).  Female sperm (x) is an endurance swimmer.  They are slow but can survive longer in comparison to male sperms (y).  While male sperms (y) are fast swimmer, they don’t last long.  So, knowing this, I have to know my ovulation time in order to make the chance for either sperm to meet the egg i.e. to know when to have an intercourse. Why is that? Because to have a boy,  the egg should be waiting in the ovum.  In that way, there’s big chance that the first sperm to arrive to the egg would be a male sperm.  While, if you want to have a girl, you have to have intercourse before ovulation, at least 3 days before.  Apparently female sperm can last for 3 days.  Therefore, when the egg is released some female sperms would be waiting to fertilise the egg.

How would I know when I was ovulating? I recorded my basal body temperature every morning, straight after I woke up, before doing anything else.  I recorded bbt everyday for 3 months and plotted a chart as directed from the book.  According to the book, when one is ovulating, there would be a jump in bbt, as long as you’re not ill.  But if one is taking the bbt for a period of time, you’ll notice the pattern.  I can also feel some sensation below my stomach, a sort of a tightening on one side of my stomach.

To know your pattern enabled you to predict your ovulation time.  This is more useful if you want to have a girl.  It is because, to have a girl, you have to stop having intercourse at least from 3 days before your ovulation until 2 days past ovulation, but the book also recommend to abstain sex from 5 days before the ovulation.  For a boy, it’s a different matter, we have to use condom or abstain from sex from 5 days before ovulation and have intercourse during ovulation.

Another important advice is sperm count.  Heat especially contribute to sperm count.  High sperm count will help you to get a boy while low sperm count for a girl.  Sperms apparently are produced at a lower temperature than normal body temperature, therefore if you want to have a boy, you have to keep the scrotum cool, while to have a girl, you have to keep the scrotum slightly hot.  My hubby is an amateur cyclist, therefore he likes to wear tight underwear and also cycling pants.  I had to force him to wear boxer shorts and told him to have cool shower before going to bed.

There are also lots more about diet but we didn’t follow the diet advice.  the first 3 months, I was charting the bbt, we weren’t starting trying until the month 4.  It didn’t take us long, I was pregnant straight away on month 4 for a boy.  But, I don’t know whether the method is foolproof or it is down to random selection.

I would advice, if you do follow gender selection technique, you have to accept that there’s no guarantee that this method will 100% work.  I do recommend the book highly but don’t despair if you don’t get the baby girl/boy that you want, either way, a child is a blessing.

God lives in China

24 Jun

During breakfast, my daughter looked at the bottom of the cup, written ‘made in China’.

She then told her 4 year old brother, “everything nowadays is made in China.”

Hearing this, my son replied, ” yes, and God lives in China.”

I didn’t get it at first, because my son often talks nonsensical, but later on he said, “God created everything”.

Oh… I suddenly couldn’t stop laughing and got his analogy.  If  God creates everything and everything is made in China, so God must live in China.  Great to hear that he used his logic from what he heard and learn from school, and it was just too funny and so precious.

What happen if you ride a bicycle with your eyes closed?

20 May

As usual, we were on the way home from school with my DD1 (aged 7) and DS2 (aged 4) on the bikes.  We’re still in the alleyway next to the school, suddenly, banged! My son just hit the wall and scraped his left pinky and left ring finger, also his left knee.  He was crying inconsolably.   Every times, I heard him crying like this,  stopped my heart beating for a split second.  What now? He insisted on carry on riding, but after crossing the road to the next alleyway (yup, we had to go through 3 alleyways from school to home), he decided that it was too painful.  Luckily, I had his bike seat attached on my bike.  I carried his training bike on my bike and pushed along.

When we got home, during dinnertime, my son told my hubby that he was very brave.  I told my husband what had happened and he started to tell me what had actually happened.

DS:  Mummy, I was really braved, wasn’t I

Me: Yes, you’re really brave.

DS: Yes, I was braved riding my bike closed eyes.

Me: What! Why did you close your eyes?

DS: Because Lana (his nursery friend) closed her eyes when riding bike.

Me: ????

Then, I told him that Lana wasn’t closing her eyes.  She has problem with her sight which I don’t know what.  She always look like she is closing her eyes but she’s actually trying so hard to see.  Blessed her!

I guess, I couldn’t be angry with my son.  He’s just experimenting how it is riding a bicycle with his eyes closed, which ended up hitting the wall.  Luckily it wasn’t closed to the main street which could be very dangerous.  Hmm… what next ??

Shrek Forever

4 Jul

I was asked to make a shrek cake by a friend whose boy loves Shrek.  It was a big challenge for me.  Mind you, I’m not a cake decorator and have never taken any cake decorating course.  My cake decorating skills and tools are bare minimum.  I love baking and learn cake decorating from you tube, books and copying people’s picture from internet. I believe if anybody can do it, so can I.  Although, my cake is still far from professional looking but it’s pretty good.

The cake itself was a special chocolate cake.  It was a special cake because it didn’t have any egg nor nuts.  It was made for my friend’s son whose allergic to nuts and eggs.   I was really pleased to learn that birthday boy was very happy.  He was soo happy that he’s able to eat his birthday cake.  His father told me that he often sad whenever he went to a birthday party because he was unable to eat the cake.  This time, he can eat the cake and also he ate Shrek’s head.

JLS Lover

16 May

I was asked to make a birthday cake for my friend’s daughter who loves JLS.  So, this is my first time making a photo cake.   I ordered the edible photo print from ebay.  Voila, it was so simple, I just had to stuck it on the cake. The cake itself was an Indonesian layered cake known as  ‘lapis surabaya’ which was a chocolate cake sandwiched in vanilla cake.    I was so glad that the beautiful birthday girl was really happy with the cake.

Children holiday activities

8 Apr

I always feel daunted entertaining children during holiday.   So far, it had actually been fun.  My children had been entertaining me.  They made me beautiful colourful biscuits and cake.  Then, we had a tea party.

My children were planning to make a show for me.  It is going to be peterpan and captain hook’s show.  For that show, they needed to make swords.  My DD made swords from cardboard and then painted them.  So, we had a painting swords session which follow to other painting.

It was actually a really fun holiday.   Thank you, my little angels🙂

Chocolate No Heartache

7 Apr

I love chocolate cake, so do my two children.  But, my daughter has got somewhat intolerance towards milk and gluten.  So, I came across the book  written by Harry Eastwood, Red Velvet & Chocolate Heartache.  The book has some lovely scrumptious yummy cakes photos.  But, you wouldn’t believe it if you read the ingredients, they were made of vegetables.  I’ve made the forbidden chocolate brownies made of beetroot.  It was yummy but it was too rich for my like.  The next cake I baked, was the chocolate heartache.  It was so yummy and I love the texture.  You wouldn’t believe what it was made of.  It was made of aubergines!  It had no flour, oil, butter, milk, and sugar (it did had honey).  My family loved it and I had no heartache giving it to my daughter.  So, what did it have in it? It had aubergines, good quality dark chocolate (I use green & black), cocoa powder ( also use green & black), honey, eggs, brandy (I didn’t have any brandy so used rum essence instead).  I still tasted slight aubergine taste,  so I guess it does need a little support of alcohol to mask the aubergine and liven up the taste.

The No-cry Discipline Solution

7 Apr

If I had my child to raise all over again,

I’d finger paint more, and point the finger less.

I’d do less correcting, and more connecting.

I’d take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.

I would care to know less, and know to care more.

I’d take more hikes and fly more kites.

I’d stop playing serious, and seriously play.

I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars.

I’d do more hugging, and less tugging.

I would be firm less often, and affirm much more.

I’d build self-esteem first, and the house later.

I’d teach less about the love of power,

And more about the power of love.

by diana Loomans

We often associate discipline with punishment, when we hear that a child need to be disciplined, we’d immediately thought that he need to be punished.   If that’s the kind of discipline you’re looking for then the no-cry discipline solution by Elizabeth Pantley  is not the book that you’re looking for. Elizabeth Pantley, author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution, gives discipline a new look in her book, The No-Cry Discipline Solution.

The book starts off by discussing parenting attitudes and how they affect children’s behaviour. She addresses the myths that many parents believe such as “If you love your child and if your intentions are good, parenting will come naturally to you.” Pantley dispels these parenting myths and gives parents a new way of looking at discipline.

Part one of The No-Cry Discipline Solution continues its parental aids by defining the four parts to discipline. In this book, Pantley states these four parts are: “to correct immediate behavior; to teach a lesson; to give tools that build self-discipline and emotional control; to build the parent/child relationship.”  She gave some examples how these parts apply to some typical situation.

Part two covers skills and tools for no-cry discipline.   She gives plenty of parenting tricks to equip parents to handle tricky situation.  I have implemented some of the tricks given by the book, such as ‘5-3-1 go’ to prepare children to leave their favourite places with success.  However,  I didn’t have much luck with the talking nappy (make it talk performance).  My son didn’t think it’s funny anymore after a few tries.

She explains that parents need to take the time to discover the “real problem” or what is causing their child’s problematic actions.  The book also covers how to handle the “big three” – tantrums, fussing and whining.  Most of the tips are valuable.  We did  implemented most of them in our house,  such as validating their feeling, getting down and talking eye to eye with them.  We also created a calm-down room for our children when they were angry screaming uncontrollably,  and had taught children deep breathing and relax (we also use yoga and relaxation cd).  I also often use the distract and involve strategy, especially to prevent and handle tantrum in public place.

In part three, parents learn how to stay calm and how to determine the reasons they get angry with their children.  The book will help parents to not only realize the root cause of their anger, but how to develop a plan to manage their anger.

The part four completes the book by providing specific solutions for everyday problems. Some of the behaviours addressed are backtalk, biting other children, interrupting and lying.  Parent could find  practical advice in this section with almost one hundred pages devoted to answering these discipline problems.

All in all, the no cry discipline solution is a good parenting book.   I’d recommend it to parents who are at their wits end trying to handle temper tantrum, whining and fussing. It promotes positive parenting approach and stresses that there is  no  ONE magic solution.  I personally think this book more suitable tackling misbehaviour for under 4.   I’ve read plenty of parenting book and found that this book kind of summarizes nicely lots of parenting books.   So, it’s good in a way if you haven’t read many other parenting books. Some of the strategies are not new for me.  I found that, the method is a bit preaching for older children. We are supposed to tell them over and over again  but the downfall of that is, it didn’t let them think for themselves .  I started to look into different parenting book and found the book  ‘How to raise a thinking child’ provides  solutions to make children to think of different solutions of their own problems and feelings. I haven’t finished reading that book but we have done some activities describe in the book and I can already see a lot of improvement in my daughter’s behaviour.

Funky Trunki

5 Apr

I had bad experiences travelling with a toddler, a buggy, and a hand luggage.  Once, the buggy was even gone missing. It was a nightmare, not mentioning that I was pregnant too at that time.  So, I went searching for a better way to travel with children.  This time, I was travelling with a 2 year old and a 5 year old.  I came across trunki and given it a lots of thought.  Although, the trunki is not recommended for under 3,  I thought I’d give it a try.  I bought two trunki, one in pink and the other in blue, so my children wouldn’t fight for them.

I like the trunki for my daughter (5 yo), because she can stir it by herself and can go really fast.  But, trunki was  not for my 2 yo son.  He struggled to stir so I had to pull his with the string.  The problem with pulling is, it kept falling sideways if I need to turn.  So, I ended up carrying trunki, my son and my hand luggage  (good that I wasn’t pregnant this time).  The string on the trunki is clipped with a plastic clip which I found not very sturdy.  The clip kept getting off and my daughter can clip and unclipping it pretty easily.

If you like to be the centre of attention, I’d recommend you to get a trunki.  They were head turners wherever we go.  Some people even took video of my children on the trunki.

At one point, my daughter clipped her brother’s trunki to hers and therefore she can pull him along.  It’s a good idea if we were in an empty hall but we were in one of the busiest airport in the world so he ended up knocking everyone.  Thinking back,  it  was kind of fun but if I had to do it again, I think I would leave my hand luggage behind, and travelled  just with the 2 trunkies.

The trunki can fit enough one child’s paraphernalia  for a day or two.  Each child had few reading books, activities books, changing clothing and toys.  They can be stored under the airplane seat, but I placed my son’s trunki up in the cabin storage while my daughter under the seat.  I didn’t fill my daughter’s trunki full so I can fill it up with my son’s stuff afterward.

One mistake I’ve made was I didn’t given my children a trial run at home with the trunki.  On the travelling day,  my two children went wild whizzing around the airport.  But after a while, especially waiting for the flight coming back, the novelty worn off and they seemed to know what to do with it, and the journey became much easier.

Bottom line, would I recommend trunki? Yes, for children older than 3 years old.  It looks really cute and keeps children busy while you’re waiting in the airport.

Note: It wasn’t me on the photo, it was my sister so I had to (sorry) crop her head, otherwise, she would kill me if she knew her photo was on my blog.